First Hand Experience at the Tropical Audubon Society

My name is Jehan Sinclair and I'm a senior at MAST Academy. Last year I participated in the 2008 Fairchild Challenge Environmental Immersion Day. Myself and a small group of students went on a trip to the Doc Thomas House, headquarters of the Tropical Audubon Society (TAS), where we went bird watching, learned how to identify native plants, and help restore the natural habitat of the grounds. After the trip I continued volunteering throughout the year. As president of my school's ecology club, I encouraged other students to do the same. This year, I'm an intern at the Tropical Audubon Society and, while still volunteering outdoors, have taken up environmental advocacy.

[TAS Workday] [TAS Workday]
TAS Workday Photos

Tropical Audubon work days are a great way for students to earn community service hours. There are a variety of different projects to work on so you'll always find something to do. I earned the bulk of my community service hours there during the Twilight Thursday work days. While working there you'll also pick up many landscaping tips. Volunteering at TAS is an all around pleasurable experience for me and a nice place to enjoy nature. I encourage all students to volunteer here, if only for the experience.

—Jehan Sinclair

If you're interested in volunteering for one of our workdays or joining the pineland crew, contact TAS at e-mail at or by phone at 305-667-7337.

[TAS Workday]
9/17/11: Volunteers from Ferguson High Environmental Club
and from Oracle Corporation after a hard days work

Native Planting Project at Doc Thomas House

Tropical Audubon is improving and enlarging the native habitat plantings at the Doc Thomas House.

Phase I of the project focuses on the Pine Rockland and Tropical Hardwood Hammock areas on the west side of the property. Lead by restoration ecologist and Board member George Gann, TAS members and volunteers are preparing the areas by removing exotic vegetation and other plants that are not appropriate for the proposed habitats. Next, over ninety new trees and shrubs will be planted with grant funds from Miami-Dade County and Treemendous.

Want to learn about native plants, help Tropical maintain our native landscape at the Doc Thomas House and get your hands dirty? We need you! Volunteer for this project by e-mail at or by phone at 305-667-7337. Or show up at one of our workdays listed on the event calendar. This is a great opportunity for students to earn community service hours. Call 305-667-7337 for more information.

Help IRC and TAS Restore Pine Rocklands

TAS is proud to report that we have partnered with the Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) in their efforts to restore privately-owned pine rocklands. In the past few months, IRC's restoration crew has made some giant leaps. IRC project manager Stephen Hodges has contacted several private land owners to set up management plans for their pine rockland habitat. Volunteer restoration crews have been hard at work pulling weeds, cutting down hardwoods, and carting out trash. During the summer TAS workdays, IRC and TAS volunteers teamed up at the Doc Thomas site to learn about and conduct restoration.

[Volunteers at Work]
IRC Volunteers Working at Doc Thomas House

Photos from another TAS site, the Porter-Russell Pineland, show the impact of all that hard work. Although further tasks need to be completed for the site to be restored, it is looking much healthier already. Work will continue throughout the rest of this year and next on even more sites throughout Miami-Dade County.

[Before] [After]
Before Albizia Removal After Removal

Volunteers are a vital component of this effort! The IRC is seeking to develop a “roving pineland crew,” that will travel from site to site to further restoration efforts. This is an incredible opportunity for volunteers, because IRC staffers bring a wealth of knowledge about Florida's plant communities to these projects. It is inevitable that volunteers will learn a thing or two while working along side these talented botanists. If you're interested in volunteering for one of our workdays or joining the pineland crew, contact TAS at e-mail at or by phone at 305-667-7337.